When her brother tries to force her into a marriage with a detestable baron, Julianna Halstead flees the family estate she has helped manage since the death of her parents. But as she makes her escape late at night, Juliana’s carelessness nearly results in her being trampled by a galloping horse, and the steed’s handsome rider takes it upon himself to correct her right then and there.
Though having her bottom bared and soundly spanked on the side of the road leaves Juliana blushing crimson, the punishment arouses her intensely and her body’s helpless response cannot be hidden. To make matters worse, the gentleman over whose lap she was so firmly chastised turns out to be none other than Viscount Stonehurst, someone she has known since childhood.
When Stonehurst learns of Juliana’s predicament, he decides to make her his bride. She will be no ordinary wife, however. She will be something much more shameful. But even as she is leashed, collared, and put on display in a cage wearing only a tail, then brought out to be used in ways no proper lady should enjoy, will Juliana come to love her new life as the viscount’s pet?
Publisher’s Note: The Viscount’s Pet is a stand-alone novel which shares the Regency-era setting of Wickedly Used and His Innocent Bride. It includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
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A single tear slipped through her defenses. She blinked and wiped it away. If he said another word, she’d shatter. Anger that he’d spanked and insulted her welled up inside her. She couldn’t decide which hurt more—her bruised ribs or her sore bottom.
Misery blocked her throat and dried her mouth. She’d probably deserved that spanking since her failure ten years ago cost Susanna her life. She’d blamed herself when she heard the French had killed Stonehurst. That her childhood scheme hadn’t sent him to his death was the only bright spot in her miserable evening.
As they rode, her brief spark of anger faded into despair. She never made a sound, but tears flowed down her cheeks.
“Damn it,” Stonehurst muttered under his breath, “don’t cry.”
Despite the balmy summer night, she couldn’t stop shivering. He tightened his arms, pulling her toward him. When he buried his face in her hair, she thought he inhaled in her favorite floral perfume. She hoped it pleased him. His citrus and herbal cologne certainly delighted her.
When he reached the rose garden, the musky scent of the flowers lingered, heady and intoxicating. Despite his wooden leg, he slid easily from the saddle and helped her dismount. His hands rested a few seconds too long on her waist. She relaxed and leaned toward him, but his severe expression condemned her. While her past actions deserved his scorn, it still crushed her.
As if he couldn’t stop himself, he tugged her against him. His mouth slammed against hers, claiming, dominating, and possessing. A soft moan flowed from her. When she nestled into his embrace, her heart told her she’d come home.
He tangled his hands in the loose strands of her hair and anchored her lips to his. As his tongue traced the seam between them, she opened for him. He tasted of fresh lemons and spearmint. His kiss was all-consuming and addictive, a sinful delight that flooded her soul with joy.
The longer he held her, the more she relaxed. Everything about him made her feel sheltered and safe. Deep down she knew it was an illusion. He’d already sided with her brother, and her ribs would suffer for it.
Confused by the feelings he roused in her breast, her grip on reality faded, and she responded with unexpected eagerness. Wrong or not, she’d savor this moment of pleasure. Something hot and sensual sizzled between them. Unable to resist, she slid her arms around his neck, and ran her foot up and down his right calf.
When he crushed her against his chest, the added intimacy made her heart pound and her knees weak. Only, given their past, they could never have a future.
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